We are living in strange and scary times (in case you haven’t noticed!).
The two words I keep hearing, and indeed saying, are ‘surreal’ and ‘powerless’. Powerless in the sense of ‘What difference does it make, what I do, when we are faced with a global pandemic? I am only one person.’
It reminded of a story that a close friend once signposted me to…….
Once, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his daily writing. He had a ritual of walking on the beach every morning before he began to write. Early one day, he was walking along the shore after a huge storm had passed and he found the beach covered with starfish as far as the eye could see.
In the far distance, the old man noticed a little boy approaching. As he walked, the boy paused every now and then and as he grew closer, the man could see that every now and then he was bending down to pick something up and throw it into the sea. As the man grew closer to the boy, he called out to him, saying, ‘Good morning! May I ask what you are doing?’
The boy stopped in his tracks, looked up, and called back, ‘Throwing starfish into the sea. The high tide has washed them up onto the beach and they will not be able to return by themselves. They will die if I leave them.’
The man came closer still and said to the boy, ‘There are simply thousands of starfish on this beach. I am afraid you won’t really be able to make that much of a difference.’
The boy smiled, picked up another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the sea. He turned, grinning, and said, ‘Well, I’ve made a difference to that one!’
(Adapted from ‘The Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley, 1969 )
You make a difference. Never Forget that!
It is the small acts of kindness that will get us through this crisis. Be strong, be kind and be generous as individuals and we will prevail.
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